In this characteristically punchy article, Noam Chomsky speaks about the status of democracy and the US’s responsibility in Iraq, U.S. imperialism over Latin America, and the media’s shallow coverage of foreign affairs. These topics, and more, are all explored in his latest book, Interventions.
Some Chomsky quotes:
‘you can’t really have a functioning democracy under military occupation. You can have some elements of it but not much. Military occupation is too harsh’.
‘if the United States was occupied by Iran, would we be able to run a democratic society?’
‘The responsibilities are to, first of all, pay enormous reparations, not just for the war but for the murderous, sanctioned regime that preceded it and fatuous support for Saddam Hussein during the ’80s.’
‘The presupposition is “We own the world.” … Because we’re there by right. And everything we do is right by necessity and there maybe some mistakes here and there but basically, it’s ours, we’re there. And if anyone’s interfering, it’s their problem, they’re the ones who are the criminals’.
I am reminded here of Forsyth’s words addressed to another (Christian) nation:
When the capitalist stops his charities because his property is threatened by legislation we learn how short in the fibre is the charity which is not rounded on the love and pity of God. The real test of the love of man does not come till we love our enemies. The love of our enemy is only the love of our neighbour true to itself through everything. For an employer to love the strikers that have ruined his business after a long and bitter war is not in nature.. Yet that is the kind of tax to which the love of man is at last exposed. And there is only one source in the world to feed it and keep it alive—which is God’s love of His bitter enemies, and His grace to them in repaying their wrong by Himself atoning for them on the cross. Central to all our humane kindness at last is the grace of the cross. (Cruciality of the Cross, 166–7)